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Downsizing Tips for Seniors

Senior man downsizing with the help of a young man

If you’ve been in the same house for years, if not decades, it can be hard to even think about moving. But here are some things to consider. How has where you live now changed? Do you still know and talk to your neighbors? What about your house? Is it bigger than you need? Have your additional rooms just become storage for all the things you’ve collected over the years? What about the yard? Do you still enjoy taking care of it? If you have more house than you need, here are some advantages of downsizing for seniors.

Reasons to Move to a Smaller Space

“Shoulds” can be stressful. Especially if you feel like you should be keeping up with all your housework and maintenance. But just imagine what you could be doing if your living space lined up better with your current wants and needs. Some of the benefits of downsizing for seniors include:

  1. 1. Stressing less. Having a smaller home will help eliminate clutter, making it easier to organize your belongings. Plus, you’ll be able to free yourself from outdated electronics, old furniture, and things you don’t need or use.
  2. 2. Accessing more. A home that may have been perfect for you when you first bought it can become more challenging as the years pass. Downsizing to a senior living community will give you the opportunity to choose a home that better fits your lifestyle while offering greater accessibility.
  3. 3. Lowering your cost of living. Even if you don’t have a mortgage payment, moving to a smaller space is a quick way to start saving money on expenses like heating and electricity.
  4. 4. Maintaining less. Owning a big home can make it difficult to keep up with maintenance and repairs. An independent living community can handle any needed repairs to appliances, heating, air conditioning, plumbing and electrical. Plus, most offer dining, housekeeping and flat linen service.
  5. 5. Socializing more. Once all the inside and outside maintenance is taken care of, you’ll have more time to pursue your hobbies and interests. Living at a Life Plan Community like Blakehurst gives you access to a calendar full of classes, clubs, committees, Happy Hours and social outings.

Downsizing Tips for Seniors

If the thought of sorting, packing and moving feels overwhelming, having a plan can help reduce your stress. To get you started, here are 9 downsizing suggestions:

  1. 1. Start small. Set aside 15 minutes a day or week to do some decluttering. Start with a drawer or closet in an area of your house with little emotional attachment, like the garage or basement.
  2. 2. Start early. Downsizing will probably take longer than you expect. Be patient and take your time. It might take a couple of weeks or even months, rather than a couple of days, to sort through your entire house.
  3. 3. Go slow and steady. Work in one room or area at a time, and be sure to take breaks when you get tired.
  4. 4. Focus first on the necessities. Choose the most necessary furniture items first, such as a bed, dresser, small kitchen table with a couple of chairs, couch and an end table. Then, if there’s still room, add extra pieces.
  5. 5. Make it homey. Keep only the things that make your home distinctively yours. Framed family photos, artwork and other cherished items should have a spot in your new place to help create a familiar and homelike environment.
  6. 6. Empty the toolbox. You won’t need most of your tools. That’s because When you choose a maintenance-free community like Blakehurst, we’ll take care of the mowing, raking and snow shoveling. Plus, we’ll look after the appliances, plumbing, heating and air conditioning.
  7. 7. Be decisive.  Take a hard look at every item you pick up. If you use it regularly, keep it. If it’s been sitting in a closet or on a shelf for a year or more, it may be time to let it go.
  8. 8. Be creative. If you have a lifetime collection of mementos, consider picking a couple of items to keep and take photos of the rest. Then have your photos made into a book that can sit on your coffee table or mantle.
  9. 9. Share keepsakes with loved ones. Are there certain heirlooms or pieces with sentimental value that you plan to leave to your friends and family members? Consider giving those gifts now. That way you can enjoy the memories with them.

For a Bigger Lifestyle, Start Small

Moving to a one-bedroom senior living apartment at Blakehurst frees you from the responsibilities of home maintenance, cooking, and cleaning so you can focus more on family, friends, and your interests. Plus, our LifeCare® option gives you the peace of mind of having access to a full continuum of on-site care at predictable monthly rates. To learn more, view our floor plans and then contact us here.